Sept. 1–4, 1945: After four-and-a-half long years, it’s time to go home; the war is over.

Nieuw Amsterdam.

Sept. 1 — Our orders are in we leave here at 8:45 p.m. on Monday Sept. 3 and entrain at North Farnborough for Southampton, where we immediately embark on “New Amsterdam” and sail on Tuesday morning Sept. 4, for, we believe, Montreal.

That should get us home by the 15 Sept.

Sept. 2 — Spent the greater part of the day with Wynne and her friend. Tomorrow is the big day — the start of long looked for journey.

Sept. 3 — It is now after four o’clock in the afternoon. Our heavy baggage has gone, our bags are packed. We are all ready now to eat at 5 p.m. and then fall in at 7:45 ready to move off to Farnborough. It has been raining very heavily but now the sun is out so we hope that is a sign of a good trip. It seems queer leaving England after all this time, but seems wonderful to be actually going home. This is a very fitting anniversary of the start of the war. We had to draw mess tins and knife, fork and spoon today, so we are expecting a pretty tough crossing. Saw Lieut. Dibb today, he is remaining in England for awhile as his wife and baby are here. No more mail now until I reach home.

We lined up on Main Parade Ground at 7:30 P.M.  Hans Geggie arrived shortly after. He had landed in London and heard I was here so came down for a visit. I was certainly delighted to see him. Both he and Ronnie are on draft for Canada, which pleases me a very great deal.

We got on the train at Farnborough North. Jim was O.C. train, so he and Ken took one compartment and George Eckenfelde and I took another. We arrived in Southampton at midnight.

Sept. 4 — At 12:30 A.M. we embarked on board the New Amsterdam, a very nice and large ship. I am in a cabin with eight others, but although somewhat crowded it is o.k. We eat in four sittings — ours is 0700 hrs for breakfast, and 1700 hrs for dinner. Only two meals a day. We pulled out from Southampton at 10:20, to the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” played by the RCAF Band.

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

One response to “Sept. 1–4, 1945: After four-and-a-half long years, it’s time to go home; the war is over.”

  1. mapleleafup says :

    Wow. Heading home at long last. What a journey behind and a journey ahead. The Italy vets deserved to be the first to go. Many 2nd Corps vets would not get home until 1946. Nice stuff Rob.

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